My name is Kandi Cain. Yes, Kandi Cain, and no, I’m not a pole dancer. My childhood was unconventional to say the least. My mom’s obsession with Christmas lead her to surgically alter her ears and dress as an elf year around. Our home is a shrine to Santa and his elves. Ho. Ho. Ho.
My father is the spitting image of Santa Claus. Don’t let his looks fool you, he was once a mob enforcer for the Gambino family. When Dad isn’t playing Santa, he’s a member of the Superstition Mountains Search and Rescue squad and a highly sought-after rattlesnake wrangler.
I was two when my parents discovered I had been blessed with Grandma Hester’s psychic gifts. Like her, I could understand, control, and speak to the animals. Mom wasn’t pleased I had inherited her mother’s talents. She wanted me to have a “normal” childhood. As if. My ability to summon and communicate with critters grew until they were forced to ask Grandma Hester for help. They didn’t know how to deal with a miniature Doctor Doolittle.
To earn extra money, Grandma Hester started a pet detective agency called Finders. I was seven when I started helping her locate missing pets. I discovered I had a knack for it. When I graduated from high school, I became a full-time pet detective. Since the pay wasn’t the greatest, I moved in with my grandmother and didn’t miss the Christmas music at all.
News of Grandma Hester’s ability to find missing pets spread and a movie star flew her to Hawaii to find his missing tiger. I was told her helicopter went down in a storm, but the wreckage was never found. It felt like a piece of my heart had died with her. She left me her beloved house and business.
Two months after my grandmother died, Dutch Callaghan, a Phoenix PD homicide cop moved in next door. I took one look at Dutch and fell in lust. The man was sex on two legs and unfortunately, he was also a stickler for upholding the law. Since my father still had outstanding warrants for his arrest, I tried to avoid the meddlesome cop.
Once we discovered our cases were linked, we teamed up and brought the bad guys to justice. Not only are we an unstoppable duo, but we’re also a perfect match. Lust turned to love and that lead to a proposal.
We should have eloped. Our engagement triggered mom’s need to finally have her dream wedding. Where did she want to hold this wonderous event? Finger Lake Lodge in New York’s Adirondack mountains. Had she lost her mind? Probably. New York is home to the Gambino crime family and they still had a three hundred-thousand-dollar bounty on Dad. No matter how hard we tried to talk her out of it, Mom wouldn’t budge. My father had made her a promise twenty-eight years ago and he was going to keep it. Thus, began the road trip from hell, littered with geriatric hitmen and things going boom.